This summer, a 28 year-old man was driving along Owasco Street in Auburn, New York when, for no apparent reason, he drove off the road and smashed into a tree. When the police arrived on the scene and interviewed him, they learned what had caused the crash. Was he talking on his cell phone? Nope. Texting? Guess again. Answer: He was playing “Pokemon Go”. Completely immersed in the game, he forgot he was driving a car and crashed into the tree.
For those of you who don’t know about Pokémon Go, it is a HUGELY popular game among Millennials played in “virtual reality” on a smart phone. The game allows its users to travel around looking for “Pokémons” (the name in Japanese means “pocket monsters”), capture them, and then use them to conquer Pokémon “Gyms” (arenas). Players hatch Pokémon “eggs” by walking while playing. Players need to go near “Pokéstops”, which are landmarks where they can pick up things to advance in the game.
The car accident made national news and was a wake up call to local police regarding the dangers of the new “hit” game (pun intended). In the wake of the crash, Auburn police offered the following advice to Pokemon Go players: